Upon arriving on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, you are immediately engulfed in vibrancy. From the vivid hues of each building, lively local music echoing through the streets, and the ceaseless roll of the ocean waves in the distance, every inch of the tropical paradise teems with an infectiously dynamic spirit. To experience the unique culture of the local population is to truly experience this eternal atmosphere.
I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the Jamaican lifestyle for a few short days as a guest of Red Stripe Beer, the leading local brewery on the island. Founded in 1928 with the slogan “born from a little island with a big spirit,” Red Stripe has become an integral part of Jamaican heritage. Our itinerary was packed with thrilling adventures from coast to coast in order to highlight the passion and beauty of the island, including an private tour of the brewery’s facilities.
The weekend was a whirlwind of daring escapades and indescribable natural phenomenons. Our first full day began with a tubing excursion through the Ocho Rios rapids to the hidden waterfalls of the Irie Blue Hole before taking flight over Montego Bay for a private avian tour. Known for its stunning white sand and crystal clear turquoise water, the popular tourist destination appears as a breathtaking aquamarine gem from above.
Another day was spent primarily at Rick’s Cafe in Negril, a local restaurant and bar famous for it’s breathtaking sunset views, delicious local cuisine, and live local music. After happy hour, diners can watch their fellow travelers cliff dive 35 feet from nearby rocks into the inky teal abyss. For those lacking the (liquid) motivation to take the daring leap, there are two shorter cliffs that still allow for thrilling challenge.
Nevertheless, the climax of the trip was the three-night reggae festival Sum Fest, As this year was the 25th anniversary of the incredible event, the crowds were bursting with vigorous intensity. Attendees embraced the Jamaican spirit by wearing radiant tones and unprecedented festival styles, often inspired by the rasta colors red, green, gold, and black. The epitome of my experience was my exclusive interview with Grammy-winning artist Sean Paul, which will be published shortly.
While my time on the island may have ended, Jamaica has forever impressed into me the unparalleled vitality and culture of its locals, and I am already looking forward to the next adventure there.